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Student story

Nghia Hieu Vang (Max)

20 February 2024

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechatronics Engineering


How has your experience with UC been?

My time at UC has been incredibly productive. Everything works together to build towards a cohesive degree.

I did mathematics and finance during my first year, but then I found my passion in Mechatronics and the UC team made it really easy to transition into that degree.

What do you like about studying Mechatronics at UC?

The best thing is the sheer amount of access to facilities. The labs have 3D printers and electrical equipment. I have access to the mechanical and electric wings and can use lathe, milling equipment, small hand tools that I wouldn’t otherwise have handy access to.

I've also been fortunate enough to have incredible lecturers so far. They’re always keen to meet with me and discuss things further if I need more help.

Are there any support programmes that you found particularly helpful?

There are a lot of programmes that help with integration into student life. In my first year I signed up for UniLife, which any first year student not living in a hall can join. We would hang out in groups and do activities. It’s a nice way to meet people and make connections. I’m still close friends with some of them now.

How do you find life in Christchurch?

The lifestyle in Christchurch is very convenient. I have lots of access to malls and stores where I can buy what I need, and there are cuisine-specific shops and markets so I can buy whatever spices I need if I want to cook. I love the walking tracks in Cashmere, they’ve got amazing views and it’s easy to get there on the bus.

What clubs are you involved with and how has that helped you?

I’ve been on the exec team for the Accounting Society and the Computer Science Society, and next year I’ll be involved in UC Aerospace Club. It's not just about hanging out, these experiences are all about rolling up your sleeves and diving into events and projects. What's cool is, no matter what you're studying, there's always something new to pick up, and you make some solid friends along the way.

Through these experiences, I've had the chance not only to develop both technical and interpersonal skills but also to forge connections with professionals. Meeting industry experts through club events has been instrumental in shaping my understanding of the practical aspects of my chosen field.

What internships, exchanges, or other practical experiences have you found at UC?

I’m doing an internship on campus over the summer. It’s funded by the Electric Power Engineering Centre. I’ll be researching the power flow issue, working on a direct method solver for linear systems. It’ll be very software heavy, so I’m hoping to learn more skills and flexibilities around engaging with software engineering environment.

What are the benefits of working part-time while studying?

At first, deciding to undertake a part-time job was aimed at securing some additional allowance. This allowed me to afford my hobbies and interests. However, I also recognized the inherent opportunity to better manage my time.

What’s one thing you really love about UC?

There’s a lot of beauty on campus. It’s really nice that we have a variety of buildings and access as students. I really enjoy spending time on campus, walking around and getting fresh air, changing my surroundings.

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